About Us

Head quartered in Cape Town, South Africa, Leading Women of Africa (LWA) was founded in 2008 by Madelein Mkunu, as a pan African platform which aims to advance the leadership and economic development of women.

LWA supports the African regional integration agenda. 

LWA has a very strong presence on the African continent and operates at International, Continental, Regional, National and Community levels through collaboration with other women or regional organizations that share the same goals or appointed coordinators. The past few years, the organization has rapidly grown to become a leading women organization focusing on women economic empowerment on the continent.

LWA (NPC) was registered in South Africa as a Not-For-Profit company (NPC) incorporated under the Section 21 of the Company’s Act of South Africa.

The Pan-African Network Of Business And Professional Women

Since 2008, LWA-NPC has rapidly grown to become one of the leading women platforms with extensive network across Africa. The LWA Network is currently made up of over 20,000 subscribers:

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Governments & Institutions

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Individuals & Professionals (men & women)

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Based in Africa

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Rest of the World

The network gathers professional and business women operating across sectors and industries including but not limited to: Infrastructure, Energy, ICT, Agribusiness, Construction, Transportation, Tourism, Manufacturing, Education, Media and International Trade.

LWA also embarks in mainstreaming and supporting the creation of numerous successful small and      medium enterprises owned by women while facilitating other investment initiatives to contribute in the African economic growth and development.  To achieve this goal, LWA is working toward establishing partnerships with corporate, governments, development institutions and regional economic communities.

LWA firmly supports the process of African regional integration including the new African Continent Free Trade Agreement as a tool to increase the level of intra-African economic engagements while encouraging cross border trading and  business connections amongst women across regional borders.

Promoting African regional integration

The LWA Network supports the African regional economic integration and development through alignment with continental objectives and strategies set out by the African Union (AU) and its agenda 2063.  The African Union’s Agenda 2063 acknowledges that Africa in 2063 will be a continent where the critical role of women in Africa‘s transformation is recognized and proactively harnessed.  This mission will require women across the continent to collaborate towards their sustainable economic empowerment.

Through our various programmes and activities we strive to create linkages between professional and business women from across the continent.

One of our flagship programmes, “Women in Supply Chain in Africa” is a programme which facilitates dialogues  with stakeholders and enable women to secure procurement  and enterprise development opportunities with public and corporate sectors.

In the recent past, we have facilitated business linkages and opportunities for women in the following countries: Cameroun, Congo Republic, Democratic Rep. of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Republic of Guinea, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Switzerland, Kazakhstan and Turkey.

LWA (NPC) contribution in gender policies

Since 2008, LWA has played a crucial role in policy recommendations on leadership, good governance and women economic empowerment at various national, regional and international platforms:

– We have been part of the Strategic Framework Committee on gender and women’s economic empowerment at the Department of Trade and Industry (The Dti) in South Africa and the finalization of the Gender and Economic Empowerment Framework.

– We have presented policy recommendations on gender and China-Africa Cooperation at China-Africa Think Tanks Forum II, Ethiopia under the topic: “China-Africa cooperation without meaningful engagement with women will fail”

– We have presented recommendations at Regional Researchers Consultative Workshop on Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) Mid-Term Review workshop organized by Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC)

– We have also contributed with recommendations for the SADC-Gender, at the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development Stakeholders workshop

– We have been invited by China-Africa Business Council (Hong Kong) to conduct an open conversation on the theme: “Creating Win-Win Partnership: A Dialogue between Women Professional & Entrepreneurs in Africa and Asia”.

– LWA recently lobbied successfully on behalf of women entrepreneurs the extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which allows eligible countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, to export most products to the US market without paying duty.

Core activities

LWA’s main programmes uniquely combine research, training and networking to achieve its objective of creating access to economic opportunities for professional and women in business, at national, sub-regional and continental level.

LWA’s Core activities include:

– National and International events

– Regional and International Trade Missions

– Research

– Digital communications

– Training and Capacity Building

– Mentorship and Coaching

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